Shortness of breath “dyspnea” is discomfort or difficulty with breathing, a sign that the body is working hard to move air in and out of the lungs.
Cancer patients can often experience anxiety causing shortness of breath or making the situation worse. Some chemotherapy drugs or radiation therapy to the lungs may also cause this too.
Common symptoms of dyspnea include, uncomfortable breathing, the inability to get enough air and a feeling of smothering, tightness, drowning, or suffocation.
But shortness of breath can also be due to infection, fluid in the lungs, reduced oxygen in the blood (anaemia) or asthma or any other chronic lung problems. There can be lung damage from smoking or cancer that has affected the lungs.
If you cannot manage the breathing techniques given by your medical team or notice a worsening or extreme shortness of breath alert your medical team or hospital immediately.
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